DOC teamed up with local councils, iwi, and a variety of conservation groups in the Horowhenua/Manawatu, to get their hands dirty over the winter months and plant trees.Continue Reading...
Archives For Forest
By Anna McKnight, Partnerships Ranger, Taupō.
A pair of rare New Zealand falcon/kārearea are currently nesting at Craters Mountain Bike Park at Wairakei Forest near Taupō.
The kārearea is a courageous bird. One time, in Aoraki/Mt Cook, a falcon defended itself against an Iroquois helicopter that got too close to its nest.
The helicopter was training with the Search and Rescue team and had to move, as it didn’t want to get the falcon caught in its rotor blades. Kārearea 1, Helicopter 0. That was one brave bird!
Having worked for the Department of Conservation (DOC) in Aoraki/Mt Cook, I knew what to expect when preparing to take photos of kārearea.
As Murphy’s Law would have it, I was dressed for the office that day—with skirt, stockings and town boots—not very practical. So I raided my fire bag, and with helmet and fire boots for the terrain, I was ready to be dive bombed!
What I wasn’t ready for is the speed of the falcon. They are thought to get up to 200 kilometre per hour!
The falcon flew straight at me, but they were, in this case, just whizzing past to scare me, rather than striking. I need a better, and faster camera!
The sheer speed made the perfect falcon shot elusive, and I decided it is probably best left to the professionals!
It is exciting to be near such a rare and strong bird of prey, but I tried to be as quick as possible so I didn’t stress the parents out too much. Apologies for the amateur photos! If you are a kārearea fan and want to see some more professional photographs check out the page on the New Zealand Birds Online website.
Today’s photo showcases Whirinaki Forest, the favourite wild place of Tom McMurtry—one of the lucky winners of our recent New Zealand’s Wild Places giveaway.
Whirinaki Forest, huge, ancient trees and birdsong everywhere. ~ Tom McMurtry
Whirinaki is packed with amazing tall trees, fast flowing rivers, and is home to an array of native species including a variety of magnificent native podocarps.
The park is about 100 km south east of Rotorua on State Highway 38. It is within a two hour drive of Rotorua, Taupo and Whakatane. Its beauty can be enjoyed through a comprehensive network of walks, tracks and huts.
This photo, of trampers crossing a stream at Whirinaki, was taken by Stefan Marks.
Note: Winners of the New Zealand’s Wild Places giveaway were picked at random.